As part of my desire to read more classics, I picked up a copy of A.W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God from the LA public library (which continues to amaze me in their incredible selection and ease of checking out/returning books). I have heard about Tozer for a long time, been encouraged to read him a number of times, but never managed to make the time to do so.
I’m nearly finished with the book, and may try to find a copy of my own that I can read over again in the future. While I don’t find myself agreeing with everything he writes (something he readily acknowledges and admits will happen in his book), I appreciate his humility, his clarity, his biblical literacy, and (foremost) his passion and heart for God. He writes with a profound simplicity, and I’ve stopped a number of times to think and ponder what it is that he is saying about humanity and about God.
I really liked a paragraph or two he wrote about the Scriptures:
I believe that much of our religious unbelief is due to a wrong conception of and a wrong feeling for the Scriptures of Truth. A silent God suddenly began to speak in a book and when the book was finished lapsed back into silence again forever. Now we read the book as the record of what God said when He was for a brief time in a speaking mood. With notions like that in our heads how can we believe? The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words.
I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking. The propets habitually said, “Thus saith the LORD.” They meant their hearers to understand that God’s speaking is in the continuous present. We may use the past tense properly to indicate that at a certain time a certain word of God was spoken, but a word of God once spoken continues to be spoken, as a child once born continues to be alive, or a world once created continues to exist. And those are but imperfect illustrations, for children die and worlds burn out, but the Word of our God endureth forevether.
If you would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to you. Do not come with the notion that it is a thing which you may push around at your convenience. It is more than a thing; it is a voice, a word, the very word of the living God.